...there are very different ways of waiting. If time is not filled by a present gifted with meaning, the waiting runs the risk of becoming unbearable; if something is expected, but at this moment there is nothing, namely, if the present is empty, every instant that passes seems exaggeratedly long, and the waiting is transformed into a weight that is too heavy because the future is totally uncertain. When, instead, time is gifted with meaning and we perceive in every instant something specific and valuable, then the joy of waiting makes the present more precious.
Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
A few days ago, I bumped into someone on the street who had a very problematic self-image. He was truly different than most "normal" people. He was highly learning disabled. He looked different than the average person. He didn't accomplish very much. He wasn't able to attend regular schools when he was younger, and now he was only able to handle menial jobs. I told him that he should keep his focus on his thoughts, words, and actions. He smiled and said, "Is that all I need to think about? That sounds possible for me to do."
Just a few hours ago I bumped into him again. He wanted to review the principle for life that I had told him. With a smile he said, "I understand now. If I keep thinking about choosing better thoughts, words, and actions, my life will be much better."
Instead of thinking, "Something is wrong with me. I'm not as good as others," he realized that this sentence is not beneficial to keep thinking and repeating to others. Now he was resolved to frequently think, "I am my choices. I am the thoughts that I think, the words that I say, and the actions that I do."
No one likes to admit having been played for a fool. So it will probably take a mushroom cloud over some American city before some Obama supporters wake up. Even so, the true believers among the survivors will probably say that this was all George Bush's fault.
It is not easy, for instance, to learn how to reflect, to gain the inner calm necessary to deliberate, and to find the courage to choose the more difficult path, the more demanding way. To achieve this inner order and (relative) harmony, we need, as it were, bodyguards of the soul: certain firm habits that protect various capabilities of the self.
I am Canadian. I have lived in Wuxi, China since September 2004. I teach English. In this blog, I recount the things I have seen and the experiences I have had here in Wuxi. I also make comments on things that strike my reactionary fancy.